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A Majestic Night at the Theater

Posted by admin on April 15, 2018

A Majestic Night at the Theater

April 15, 2018 at 5:59 PM

Original Article: http://www.chicagonow.com/lets-play/2018/04/south-pacific/

James Michener, book editor and university instructor that could have avoided military service in World War II, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1942. He arrived at the South Pacific Theater in April 1944 and was delegated to talk about the history of the Navy in the Pacific. After being in a plane crash near New Caledonia which almost cost him his life he decided to write fiction, and he began listening to the stories told by soldiers, and this is where he commenced with South Pacific.

South Pacific deals with the unfortunate convolution of race, patriotism, and loss that embark on an island struggling to rise above their biases that even the enchanting setting of a beautiful tropical paradise cannot protect its residents from the prejudices of World War II. Where distressing territory will build apprehension around interracial romance and bitter truths of being taught to hate and fear will encompass the ideal place of happiness.

James Michener, book editor and university instructor that could have avoided military service in World War II, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1942. He arrived at the South Pacific Theater in April 1944 and was delegated to talk about the history of the Navy in the Pacific. After being in a plane crash near New Caledonia which almost cost him his life he decided to write fiction, and he began listening to the stories told by soldiers, and this is where he commenced with South Pacific.

South Pacific deals with the unfortunate convolution of race, patriotism, and loss that embark on an island struggling to rise above their biases that even the enchanting setting of a beautiful tropical paradise cannot protect its residents from the prejudices of World War II. Where distressing territory will build apprehension around interracial romance and bitter truths of being taught to hate and fear will encompass the ideal place of happiness.

A sassy middle-aged Tokinese vendor of grass skirts by the name of Bloody Mary (Yvonne Strumecki) who happens to be the only Civilian woman on the island sings "Bali Ha'i." She desperately targets Cable's character as a potential husband for her daughter, Liat who she believes can live a better life by marrying an American officer.

However, comic relief is forever present with the crafty navy Seabee Luther Billis played by Matt Crowle who dually notes throughout the play the absence of available women on the island, since Navy nurses were commissioned officers and off-limits to enlisted men. Nonetheless, Luther implements some amusing add-on comedy tactics such as clacking his teeth to donning island drag to show off his rolling tattooed belly.

Samantha Hill, country style, Dolly Parton like accent was sensational as Nellie Forbush and with Robert Cuccioli is Emile, the two were a delight to witness. Austin Colby role as the dreamy hunk overlooks his operatic vocals and that he's a diverse actor that has performed in The Sound of Music and West Side Story. Lastly, Matt Crowle, Jerry Lewis-like antics was a show stealer. He was hilariously funny and made this version of a famous historical play entertaining, and thoroughly a joy to behold.    

Director Victor Malana Maog has an excellent ensemble team that brings this classic film to life at Drury Lane Theatre which was aided by music director Roberta Duchak. Together they made South Pacific another timeless delight.

Let's Play highly recommend this musical.

The cast includes:

Robert Cuccioli (Emile de Becque )

Samantha Hill (Ensign Nellie Forbush)

Austin Colby (Lt. Joseph Cable),

Yvonne Strumecki (Bloody Mary)

Matt Crowle (Luther Billis)

Elic Bramlett(Capt. George Brackett)

Harter Clingman (Stewpot)

Matthew Keffer (Cmdr. William Harbison)

Sarah Lo (Liat)

Sam Shankman (Professor)

Hunter DiMailig (Jerome)

Rika Nishikawa (Ngana)

Miles S. Chong (Jerome alternate)

Rachel Cornille (Ngana alternate)

The Ensemble includes Blair Beasley, Kayla Boye, Nathaniel Braga, Joe Capstick, Matt Casey, Erica Evans, John Gurdian, Ashley Lanyon, Rachel Osting, Brandon Pisano, Allie Pizzo, Peter Sipla, Erica Stephan, Patrick Michael Tierney and Denzel Tsopnang.

 

Drury Lane Theatre opens 2018/2019 Season with

South Pacific

Where: Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace

Tickets: $47-$62; dinner theater packages, $64-$85

Info: drurylanetheatre.com

Runtime: 2 hours, 30 minutes, one intermission

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan

Adapted from Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener

Directed by Victor Malana Maog

Choreography by Otis Sallid

Musical Direction by Roberta Duchak

 

April 5 - June 17, 2018